Navigator is one of a handful of people from the 80s who successfully made the transition from being a UK Reggae Soundboy into a Jungle artist in the early 90s. His phenomenal work rate, passion and drive are self-evident by the volume of his musical output. Check his discography for evidence. Now in 2012 and currently living in Berlin, Navi is studying German and taking a Diploma in sound engineering, whilst also preparing for the launch of his own online digital label ODT Muzik!
First off for the New Year, watch out for the documentary entitled; ‘The Evolution Of A London MC’ produced by BC productions and directed by up and coming director Nathaniel Jessel. The documentary is the first of its kind and really goes into the history and evolution of the London MC, tracing back Navi’s roots in sound systems through to jungle and right up to 2012. The documentary will be released in the early part of 2012, alongside a free soundtrack Album compiled by ODT Muzik and Beat Culture. The album features production from; ErbNDub, Tony Anthem, Roni Size, Lion Dub International, Noah D, RackNRuin, Ctrl Z, Catch 22 and High Stakes NZ, also guest appearances from Eksman, SMK and Alaska. This documentary and soundtrack are a must for any underground music fan around the globe!
His schedule for tracks to be released on other labels this year is looking busy. First out on 20.01.12 was a fast paced breakbeat number – ‘Whine Gyal’ produced by Berlin based duo Profit (formerly Dub Tao). The track is part of an EP – ‘Double Edged Sword’ which is released on picture disc vinyl and also features legendary producer Lee Scratch Perry.
2012 will see a slew of tracks across a spectrum of musical genres, ranging from reggae dancehall to jungle/drum and bass, hip-hop, house, dubstep to drumstep. One prominent feature of Navi’s in 2012 is with vocalist Piotta on an Italian-house track; ‘Circus Escape’ with Steve Forest on production, the video was shot LIVE in a circus! Look out for Ruffneck 2012 remix too.
Already peaking at No.1 on Juno after 5 days, The Crypt EP produced by RackNRuin & Foamo aka Gorgon City on Black Butter Records has a monster banger featuring Rubi Dan & Navigator. It showcases the two emcees firing ragga bars at each other like its all out war. Navigator had two big releases on Black Butter in 2011 – ‘Territory’ and ‘Righteous’.
Going straight back to his musical roots, Navi will be dropping a variety of reggae dancehall singles on ODT Muzik and various other labels this year. He recently voiced a song called ‘Born fi Win’ on a track produced by Not Nice for YT (‘England Story’). ‘Born fi Win’ will be released on YT’s own Sativa Records label featuring other artists including Mr. Williams.
‘Run Away’ is a single featuring 4 Berlin based artists; produced by Jah Lingua who also raps on the track, alongside Soultrain, Dappaman and Navi himself. Everyone will be able to relate to the song telling the story of stressful city life and the need to get away for a break sometimes. Out in Spring 2012 on ODT Muzik; watch out for a smasher to bring Europe out of the cold winter straight into the summer!
Finally not forgetting the jungle/drum and bass scene, Navi will continue to push out tracks in conjunction with his label mates ErbNduB and Tony Anthem on Bad Monkey Record. Look out for the long awaited ‘Nobody can Judge me’ with a David Boomah feature plus a video and remixes coming from ErbNduB, No Money, Aires & Submatic. There will also be more coming from F-Troop this year with SMK, also new recruits Spookasonic and Dizzle. Together this team will be dropping mixtapes, singles and videos in many genres as the F-Troop Barbarians.
Navigator’s latest release produced by RackNRuin is called ‘Righteous’ on Black Butter Records. He features alongside UK compadres Serocee & Illaman. The video show a very comical side to the art of ‘Barring’ in which capacity the 3 MCs seem to be having immense fun. The TRUE TIGER remix has been well supported by Mister Jam & DJ Target on BBC 1xtra and also by Fonti (Heartless Crew) on Rinse FM. Navi has also recently collaborated with DJ Rap on the new version of her classic track ‘Good to be Alive’. He goes in hard on the bars on this one demonstrating that he is; as he says in the first lines, ‘Still here, Still alive and kicking, still ah do di ting, still moving and sticking!’ Check the stunning visuals of DJ RAP in the video to the dubstep version too, be assured you wont be disappointed.
On 08.08.2011 Navigator presents ‘Bad Minds’ featuring SMK, ErbNduB, Tony Anthem & Axl Ender with an amazing video to accompany the package. This track has been smashing up parties in all different genres worldwide. The package also includes a Heist (Metalheads) Jump Up remix and a sick sub-bass dubstep remix from Norwiegen Bad Monkey afilliate Mindflow. The official launch of the single will be at Navigators Birthday Bash to be held in Fundbureau Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, 06 August 2011. Supporting headline artists and DJs are: ErbNduB, SMK, Jumping Jack Frost alongside the unstoppable UNCZ vets Ruffstuff & Fun.
In Febuary the hardhitting social commentary release called Inequity Worker 2011-(Noah D remix) hit the streets on NYC based Lion Dub International label. The video paints the picture of the stark contrast between the rich and poor class societies. It also refers to the way how the powers that be use people as pawns to gratify their insatiable material greed. This one is for all the consciously inclined massive and is also a wake up call for the socially insensitive! Then in April Navi dropped the concept solo single ‘Gimme back mi Pepita’, telling the story of a bank robbery thats ends in up a double cross situation. The track and video is the brainchild of DJ (Bunkerman) Afghan out of Italy whose label SouLove Records has had many releases featuring big name legendary UK artists.
Navigator has released a large amount of new material over the past 18 months. The UK based label called ‘Never say Die’ who are pushing out a new genre sound, dropped ‘Ruffneck the Remixes’ ft: Navi which came 2nd in the Best Single category at the 2010 Breakspoll Awards. The unsung Drum and Bass anthem ‘Fire Bun’ ft: SMK and Navi also made waves early in 2010 and launched the Bad Monkey label that Navi is currently involved in with owners ErbNduB & Tony Anthem. Summer 2010 saw Bar Knuckles drop, being immediately hailed as a classic example of a cutting edge groundbreaking hard drumstep with top MCs lacing the beat. It was released on Bad Monkey and features Navi, SMK, Eksman & Dr. Alaska, the video also recieved heavy rotation on Channel AKA. In Germany, Navigator collaborated with top Deutsche rappers Azad & Godsilla on ‘Fuck tha Police 2010’ which was the first single release from Azads ‘Inferno 2 Asphalt’ album. The video went to No1 on German MTV Urbanclips chart and has had over a million youtube views. Reggae/Hiphop single ‘The Greatest Girls’ produced by Repectaz ft: Navigator was released on German ragga label African Beat. It peaked at No1 and was in the Top10 for 8 weeks straight on the Beatport dancehall singles sales chart. In December Navi dropped ‘Territory’ in tandem on the ridim with the legendary Birmingham based artist Slarta John. Another killer production by ‘man of the moment’ RackNRuin.. ‘Territory’ was released on Black Butter Records and got single of the month in iDJ Magazine. plus it went to No.1 on the Juno Dancehall sales chart. The video for ‘Territory was released in March 2011.
Look out for Navigator in 2012 when he will also be dropping many more solo projects. He will be launching his own label, On Dis Ting Muzik for the explicit purpose of pushing out most of his new solo and collaboration releases. New Mix CDs will be forthcoming with F-Troop, RackNRuin, Lion Dub and select DJ/Producers from various genres of music. So get ready for another amazing year from this legendary pioneer artist. The vibe can only INtEnSiFy!!
Navigator started his musical career performing live on UK Reggae Soundsystems, ultimately acheiving real recognition and notoriety on top north east London Soundsystem Unity Hi-Power. He then moved smoothly onto the Jungle/Drum&Bass scene just as it began as a musical genre. He established his name on the legendary pirate radio station Kool FM and performed at all the big Jungle parties. His reputation helped him to become the only resident MC from the UK on the biggest Jungle party organization in Germany called Meditation. He also toured Germany with Jungle legends Mickey Finn, DJ Rap, Shy FX, DJ Brockie and MC Det on the Jungle Warriors tour.
To solidify his musical experience as an artist, he started recording songs for various record labels and bands. 1994 he featured on the D*Note Jazz/Jungle fusion album entitled ‘Crimimal Justice’. He recorded two tracks Inequity Worker and the title track Criminal Justice, both were released as singles on the Dorado label. Both tracks received high critical media acclaim. He received a Gold Disc for Inequity Worker after it was licensed by Telstar for the Jungle Mania2 compilation which sold over 100,000 copies. In 1997 he recorded the classic Jungle/Bhangra/Electronica fusion track Culture Move on Asian Dub Foundations (ADF) Rafi’s Revenge album (ffrr). It became a big hit in France and there is also a live performance at London Astoria released on CD. Navi also features on Power to the Small Massive on ADF’s Enemy of the Enemy album..
Between 96-98 he joined BBC Radio1 and was the main presenter for the 1 in the Jungle show on Saturday nights. He handed over to Grooverider & Fabio in 1999. In 1998 Navigator joined breakbeat band Freestylers as a live show hype MC. Luckily, he got an opportunity to voice a beat that the producers couldn’t find a vocalist for. That voicing resulted in the mega worldwide smash hit single and video Ruffneck.Soon after that he recorded the other killer hit Jungle/Breakbeat/Rock fusion track called ‘Warning’. Both tracks were singles taken from the groundbreaking album ‘We Rock Hard’ released on Freskanova label in the UK and Mammoth in the USA. Winning the Ericsson Muzik Magazine ‘BEST BAND’ Dance Award led to Freestylers being booked to support Lenny Kravitz on his 1999 U.S. Freedom Tour. That same year they headlined the Jazz stage at Glastonbury Festival in front of a 20,000 strong crowd. Navi was also awarded a Platinum Disc for Ruffneck after it was licensed for the Ministry of Sound-The Ibiza Annual V.1 compilation which sold over 300.000 copies
In 2001 Navigator jointly formed Rawhill Cru together with MC $pyda aka Black Tarantula and went on in 2003 to record the classic Drum&Bass dancefloor anthem Mo’ Fire. Remixed by renowned Drum&Bass producers Fresh (Breakbeat Kaos) also Andy C (RAM) and released on Bad Company Recordings the track sold over 40,000 copies. In 2004 Navi was invited by Roni Size to record a track called Gimme the Reason for the Return To V album released on V Recordings. In 2005 he recorded a number of other tracks with Roni, Krust, Jumpin Jack Frost, Die and Clipz for a Navigator solo album project that was to be released on Full Cycle. Unfortunately, the label stopped releasing music, but there are still plans for this classic material to be released at some point in the future.
Other notable releases are Got 1 Life on the Qemists album ‘Join the Q’ released on Ninja Tune in Feb 2009. Also Dancehall Thrilla on the Deekline&Wizard album ‘Back off coming Through’ released on Against the Grain. Ruffneck has been revoiced and remixed by breakbeat electronic punks Ctrl Z, there is also a megamix video to accompany the package released on new label Never Say Die. Additional Ruffneck remixes come from wunderkid RackNRuin, Pirate Soundsystem, High Rankin and also best selling dubsteppers Excision & Datsik whose version was No.1 on the Nu-Skool Breakz Chart and No.1 dubstep download on Beatport. The Ruffneck Remixes were also voted runners up after being nominated for Best Track at the 2010 Breakbeat Breakspoll Awards.
Current projects include a Jungle/Drum&Bass collaboration with Tony Anthem (Future Prophecies) and nu-skool producer ErbNduB. Together they are releasing product on their new imprint Bad Monkey. They already have 3 releases with videos under their belts namely, Fire Bun which features the vocals of raw new talent SMK. The video and the dubstep remix combined had 90,000 views on youtube in the first month after being released. Fire Bun has also been No.1 on several online digital downloads sites. Drumstep track ‘Bar Knuckles’ was released in July 2010 and was very well received. It features Navigator, Eksman, SMK and Dr.Alaska and is a futuristic style of Drum and Bass showcasing MC talent from the D&B scene like its never been done before. ‘Move Down’ featuring Darrison was released in September 2010 and the video has been requested by Norweigen MTV for heavy rotation airplay. Navi and SMK have formed F-Troop, this name will be used for releasing Mix CDs and live performances. F-Troop have already dropped two Mix CDs Mad ah Road-The Return of Navigator and ‘SMK Sick inna Head’ to establish the brand.
RackNRuin produced the beat for another huge bashy-bass collaboration track called ‘Territory’ featuring Navi and Slarta John-(Basement Jaxx). This will be released in November 2010 with a video to accompany it and has already had rave reviews in magazines and online music sites. It is being very well recieved by Radio and Live DJs alike.. Territory has got big potential and RackNRuin is already planning a follow up Navi single featuring other top UK artists..
Navi has also had huge success on the German HipHop scene featuring on a track entitled ‘Fuck tha Police 2010’ with AZAD and Godsilla. The track climbed to No.1 on the German MTV urbanclips chart and has had over 1 Million views on youtube.. He is also currently busy working on many other music projects in several other countries, ALL of which have BIG commercial potential.
Look out for Bad Minds on Bad Monkey Records in 2011.. Massive fusion track!
Navigators positive attitude and highly energised motivation are the key strengths that propel him forward with the vigor, self belief and determination required to be a professional and successful artist in the music industry…
Navi Motivation:- success in life doesn’t come free, one has to put the work in!!
Navigator is back with a Vengeance in 2010…. So Stay Tuned..